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How to Find New Prospects for your Online Business

Finding prospects for your business can be a very daunting task but when you know the right places to look, you will be able to build a good flow of new leads that will also help to improve your income. We know everyone wants to sell online and to do that, one must understand the basics of how to find new prospects for business.

There are different places where you can look for your prospects online and with each place, the process is slightly different. You can look at it as giving a speech at different venues, each venue will have a peculiar audience and each audience type will have a way that you can usually reach out to them.

In this post, we will share with you, eight good ways that you can start using today to prospect leads for your online business.

Industry Blogs and Forums

Almost all niche’s online have at least on active forum online where the thought leaders always converse and are able to offer guidance to newbies and those growing up the ladder. Similarly, there are blogs where thought leaders find it easy to share their reviews and opinions about the industry. You will need to find such blogs and forums and then subscribe/join them so you can easily add value there also.

The comments and posts that you make on blogs and forums will often afford you the opportunity of being seen as a thought leader and then members can ask to contact you for help privately thereby giving you the chance to add to your pipeline.

If you subscribe to newsletters of blogs related to your industry you can use the information available in them, if applicable, to reach out to more leads, or better still, work a deal with the blog owner to send out a message to the blog members on your behalf. Two good places that have been know to get like minds in your niche, are Quora and Reddit.

Business Journals

By frequently reading local business journals, you can be able to find out about businesses you might not have heard of and discover relevant trigger events on which to base your outreach. This is because local businesses journals cover news on big events happening at companies in the area, whether that be a lawsuit, a new location, or additional funding. These trigger events can be used as a point of reference when you send your first email or make the first call to your new prospect and will increase the chances of getting a reply from them.

Twitter

If you will make the most out of Twitter you must have a list of the top three or four keywords/hashtags that your target prospects will most likely interact with. You can find the best hashtags by using hashtagify and then run searches on the set of keywords to find people people who are showing interest in the topic by engaging with the hashtag.

Some people might be asking questions. Others might be complaining about how difficult something may be. In any case, you can jump in and add value to the conversation — and potentially pick up some prospects along the way.
Once you have a few leads in mind, use private Twitter lists to keep an eye on them, as well as other relevant people.

A faster way is to reply with relevant content or retweet the post if you find it interesting.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be a gold mine of prospects when used correctly, you will most likely have a friend who finds all his/her leads exclusively via LinkedIn. In addition to the job listings, LinkedIn groups are full of people looking for help.

You can search for topics regarding your niche which will help you find groups around this topics that you can join and engage with. The thing with the LinkedIn is that the more you can help the community, the more trusted you become and more readily people are able to reach out to you and/or help you. The rule with LinkedIn however, is that you wouldn’t want to sell right off the bat to members but rather, you want to present yourself as accessible so they can reach out to you.

Just like Twitter, LinkedIn has an advanced search option that will help you narrow down your search even more. This is especially great when you know your ideal buyer persona, you can easily find people who match that criteria with the help of advanced search. For example, you can use LinkedIn to find companies that you can sell to. Once you find companies that you’d like to pursue, follow the organization’s profile for updates and trigger events that will help you customize and personalize your messaging.

Job Boards

Job listings provides the opportunity for you to understand the needs of your prospects, for instance, if you notice that a company is hiring an HR, you can reach out to the company to provide compensation services that will help in helping the HR settle in faster, or a way that will help improve the English accent of candidates being considered if that’s a service you provide.

Also, if you notice that a company is hiring an executive or senior employee in the function you sell into, keep an eye on when the listing goes down. Then search for the newly-hired decision maker, and send your pitch.

HubSpot CRM

With HubSpot’s free CRM tool, you will be able to source new prospects directly from their CRM. By clicking the “Companies” tab, you can search through a database of companies and filter results by location, industry, and employee count.

Local Chamber of Commerce Website

Visiting your local Chamber of Commerce’s website will allow you access to a directory of local businesses, though it might not be the most enjoyable website to use and the listings may not be totally comprehensive. Your local Chamber of Commerce business directory or any other local business directory organizes businesses by industry. This is perfect if you know your ideal customer’s demographics.

Instagram

Just like twitter, Instagram is also a great tool for prospecting new users. With Instagram, the prospecting process is more tasking as it involves posting great content, using and engaging with high quality hashtags.

We usually consider Instagram hashtags to be of high quality when the contain posts between 100k and 800k. The use of this high quality hashtags means that you will get seen and not get lost in the stream within seconds of sending out your posts.

Engaging with the Instagram hashtags involves like other pictures that share the same hashtags in your line as well as posting relevant comments on some of the posts that carry the hashtags on your watch list. You also want to ensure that you build a relationship with your Instagram prospects as this is what will enable you to be able to get started on a meaningful conversation that will lead to sales eventually.

If you’ve not, you will need to read our posts on qualifying leads and prospects so that you know how to identify the prospects that will be worth spending your time with.

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